Japan is quickly becoming one of the busiest centers of commerce and industry in the world, and with many U.S. companies expanding into this thriving country, it's likely your organization will eventually need Japanese translation services. Professional Japanese translation requires skill not only in basic English to Japanese translation, but also in taking into account the differences between the two cultures. That's why a Japanese English dictionary won't suffice for most business purposes; you'll need professional Japanese translations to make a connection with most Japanese companies.
What to consider when hiring a Japanese translator:
- Does the Japanese translator hold any certifications or degrees, or belong to any professional associations?
- Is the translator knowledgeable of the dozens of dialects spoken in Japan?
- Does the Japanese translation services business understand the country's customs as well as its language?
Hire a professional Japanese translatorIf you regularly conduct business in Japan, or if you need major documents translated into Japanese, you'll probably need the expertise of a professional Japanese translator. Most will have degrees or certifications in Japanese or in language translation, and are knowledgeable not only of basic grammar, but also of the dozens of Japanese dialects.
Purchase Japanese English translation softwareTranslation software may not be sufficient for face-to-face interaction with Japanese-speaking colleagues, but may be just enough for reading Japanese newspapers or magazines, for example, or for writing memos and other simple documents in Japanese. These easily accessible tools are great for getting the basic idea of something, but they don't provide the context or precision that a professional translator can.
For small jobs, use free Japanese translation online toolsFor a quick translation of a word or sentence you saw on a website or in a newspaper, for example, you may only need a free online translator. However, these tools sometimes produce unnatural sounding translations, and so usually aren't sufficient for communication purposes. Also, if you're translating a legal document, for example, you'd need to have a Japanese translator review your project.
- Know the difference between a Japanese translator and an interpreter; translation applies to written materials, while interpreting applies to speaking, such as a presentation, speech or conversation. If you frequently travel or meet with Japanese-speaking people in person, you'll probably need to hire an interpreter rather than a translator.